Kaunas’ modernist architecture’s application for UNESCO recognition passed first stage


2020 11 17


The Ministry of Culture has received confirmation from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre that the draft nomination file of Kaunas modernist architecture meets the administrative requirements for applications.

This opens the way for improving the final version of the submission until 1 February 2021 and presenting it to be assessed by international experts and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in order for Kaunas modernist architecture to be granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage.

The draft nomination file Modernusis Kaunas: Optimizmo architektūra, 1919–1939 (Modern Kaunas: Architecture of Optimism) was prepared by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with Kaunas City Municipality and the secretariat of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO. In this draft, the exceptional overall value of Kaunas modernist architecture has been established and defined, a comparative analysis has been performed, and the draft site management plan has been prepared. The application was prepared by a group of experts whose work was funded by Kaunas City Municipality. Since the start of this year, the group has been led by Professor Marija Drėmaitė from Vilnius University Faculty of History. The Ministry of Culture has allocated funding for consultations of international experts and other strategic work during preparation of the nomination file.

By the order of the Minsiter of Culture, the Interinstitutional Supervision Group headed by the Vice-Minister of Culture Ingrida Veliūtė was formed, which observed the process of the preparation of the application and solved strategic issues.

After receiving a positive assessment in the administrative review by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the final meeting of the current Interinstitutional Supervision Group is planned to be held on Friday. This stage of the preparation of the nomination file concludes the implementation of the action “Aim to include Kaunas modernist architecture in the UNESCO World Heritage List” included in the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

The first work in the preparation of documents required in order for Kaunas modernist architecture to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List was started in 2016.

Photo by Norbert Tukaj/Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO